7 tools I love that you will love too

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

I founded Better Leaders Better Schools in 2015.

Since then I have been lucky to experience positive growth each year in every metric I could measure.

People seem to be interested in the kinds of tools I use behind the scenes, so this is just a quick post pointing you in the direction of some really neat tools.

It’s not all the tools I use, but the ones I couldn’t run BLBS without.

Slack: I HATE email and specifically email chains or emails that don’t include all the relevant parties. So I use Slack instead. This way I can communicate with my internal team all in one place.

I use email to respond to client requests, start relationships, and communicate with external parties.

Schools should consider using Slack for all internal communication so that email is left only for parents, vendors, and other people outside the inner circle.

Trello: This is my go-to project management tool. You can get away with a FREE plan, but when you add a paid subscription you unlock some pretty nifty automations that are worth every penny.

I use Trello to manage the following projects:

  • Podcast creation from recorded thru published
  • Quarterly goals
  • Client relationships and company growth
  • Weekend Resource content
  • Team tasks + book sales
  • Planning and executing live events
  • Building systems

Airtable: One of my team members is a systems Jedi. She is working on creating a multifaceted client database that will manage everything from mastermind memberships, invoicing, reading schedules, birthdays, and so on. Like Trello, we use the paid version to leverage automation and unlock some helpful features.

Appointment Thing: A cool tool for automating appointments. I use this for everything from coaching calls to podcast recordings.

Zapier: If you find yourself doing the same thing over and over again, chances are you can automate that process.

For example, each time a book is ordered on my website I only have to take one action (forward an email) and a three step process including filling out a spreadsheet purchase order form, sending an email, and paying is taken care of in five seconds. It took maybe ten minutes to build and has saved me hours on the backend.

Text Expander: If you find yourself writing the same phrases or words over and over, then you need this tool.

You can program TextExpanded with codes that will then expand to the total phrase.

For example, if I type “xpsp” then “The Principal Success Path™” automatically appears. “xblbsweb” gets me https://betterleadersbetterschools.com each time.

You can even program an email subject line and personalize the body of content with linked urls with a code.

Here is a 90-second video of how I use it to schedule podcast recordings:

Siri + “Hey Google”: I have been thinking a lot about how to leverage Siri and Google to help me be more efficient in work.

There are times where inspiration strikes, but I don’t have a pen or paper to write down the brilliant idea! Yes, I do have my phone, but how often do you write a note in some app, only to forget where you saved the note?

So I came up with a “Danny proof” system. If I manage all my projects on Trello, then it made sense to come up with a solution that would put those random ideas and file them away in my Trello project board.

Yes, I could open trello, find the write project board, find the right column, and create a card with the idea. This might take 30–60 seconds total each time.

Or I could automate it with Siri or Google and turn that into a 5 second process.

So now I say, “Hey Siri” and “Create a Trello card in the External Brain.”

Siri replies, “What would you like to say?”

And I share my BIG idea.

It takes just 5 seconds and all my random thoughts are stored in the same place on Trello.

Call to Action

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The Teachers on Fire Magazine features articles written by agents of growth and transformative change in K-12 education today. If you write about education, reach out to @TeachersOnFire to become a writer for this publication. Writers keep full ownership of content.

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Daniel Bauer

Daniel Bauer

Host of the Better Leaders Better Schools podcast with over one million downloads 🚀

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